Pneumatic Sanders: A Cushy Way to Smooth Curves
Pneumatic Sanders: Simple to set up
It's simple to set up your new pneumatic sander You can install a pneumatic sanding drum between centers on a lathe, as shown at left, or chuck it in a drill press as shown on the opening page. Drum installation is relatively easy, following the manufacturer's instructions.
A typical pneumatic sanding drum comes with a mandrel for lathe mounting. A fitting at one end features diametric kerfs to engage the lathe's two-or four-prong spur drive center.
For the tailstock end of the one shown (from Woodcraft Supply, 800/535-4486), the manufacturer suggests you cut off the tenon on the nylon fitting supplied for the tailstock end, and support the drum end with a rotating tail center. For surer centering of the drum, we turned a simple tailstock fixture to receive the fitting's 3/8"-diameter tenon, shown in the photo above and the Tailstock Bearing drawing. (For continuous or heavy use, using the rotating tail center would be better.)
For drill-press mounting, chuck the tenon on the drum's top fitting into the drill-press. To keep the drum running true, be sure to clamp the bottom support fixture supplied with the drum firmly to the drill-press table. (For our drum, we drilled a hole to receive the drum-end pin in a piece of scrapwood large enough to clamp at both ends, shown below.)
Now, you're ready for some contour sanding Run the drill press or lathe at 1,200 to 1,400 rpm for sanding with a pneumatic drum. The soft surface can make the drum grabby, so hold the work firmly. Sand on the lower front quadrant of a lathe-mounted drum. And remove the lathe's tool rest for sanding; don't try to brace the workpiece against it.
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